The simple meaning of alopecia is hair loss. The condition is not new and at least half the population over the age of 30 to 40 is known to have some amount of loss of hair. People often relate loss of hair and baldness to mental worries and stress, but there can be many other medically related factors which people are not aware of.
Broadly alopecia can be divided into two classes, alopecia androgenetica and alopecia areata. Alopecia androgenetica is common and it can be male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. Alopecia areata is loss of hair in patches. A small patch of hair loss in beard area is called alopecia barbae. There can be many such patches of hair loss at the same time. It is a type of alopecia areata.
While alopecia areata affects both genders, alopecia barbea obviously is limited to males. There are small hairless patches in beard area which are usually circular having smooth skin surface, sometimes associated with burning sensation. The condition is not serious health issue, but it may take weeks or months for treating alopecia barbae.
Causes Of Alopecia Barbae
The cause of alopecia barbae still remains inconclusive. Researchers are not able to find the exact cause of bald patches in beard. However, lots of studies indicate it is an autoimmune problem. Something goes awry in the immune system of body. It wrongly interprets the hair follicles as foreign body and attacks them. This leads to patches of hair loss in beard.
Many men having this problem are known to have strong family history of this problem. Emotional upset, mental stress, environmental situations, depression are also known to aggravate the condition.
How Does Alopecia Barbe Look Like?
Alopecia barbae can develop at any age in men after puberty. However, it is often observed between 30 and 40 years. Sometimes in the beginning it is very difficult to detect patch of hair loss since a small area is affected. There may be one patch or many bald patches at the same time.
There are small circular bald patches in the beard often adjacent to one another or even at a distance. It is not common and 2 percent of men suffer from hair loss in sporadic areas of beard. The appearance is sudden and often noted by the person himself while shaving.
The skin of bald hairless patches is smooth and shiny. In the beginning it area is small, but as time passes it may increase in size. There may be occasional burning and tingling sensation in the area.
Natural Treatments For Alopecia Barbae
Many men ignore alopecia barbae in the beginning as the bald patches are small. However, treatment during this period is important as the hairless areas may increase in size. Even with treatment it may take long duration to regrow hairs in bald beard areas.
There are several over the counter medications which claim to regrow hair in bald patches, but they may have many side effects. Home remedies are an easy and economical option as compared to expensive over the counter products.
- Certain herbs are valuable in stimulating hair follicles. Burdock, sage, rosemary has natural qualities for encouraging the hair follicles to grow. Boil all the mentioned herbs in water and strain the liquid once it gets cool. Use the prepared liquid as shampoo to wash the beard area.
- Aloe vera gel is known to promote hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles. Apply aloe vera gel regularly on the affected bald patches.
- Application of onion juice is effective in growing hair in the bald patches of alopecia barbae. However, onion juice can irritate the skin, so apply a thin layer for first few days to observe if any skin irritation develops.
- Massage the affected area with essential oil such as jojoba and almond oil. Both oils are known to accelerate hair growth. Besides massage encourages blood circulation which plays an important role in stimulating hair follicles to grow.
- Eat healthy food containing proteins and iron since both are necessary for healthy hair growth. Rich source of both the nutrients is fish, lean meat, wheat, poultry, eggs, grains and beans.
- Reduce your stress by practicing yoga and meditation.